World champion Michael Schumacher has denied that Ferrari’s bad start to the season is due to complacency. Three races into the season and the Italian team has had only had one podium finish.

World champion Michael Schumacher has denied that Ferrari’s bad start to the season is due to complacency. Three races into the season and the Italian team has had only had one podium finish.

The team has 16 points compared with McLaren’s 39 points. Schumacher and team-mate Rubens Barrichello have eight points each, while log leader Kimi Raikkonen has 24.

"You've only to see the new car and the work that's been done to improve the old one to know that's not true,” Schumacher told . "We've still got the fastest car. The season has only just begun and there's nothing to worry about.

“The poor start was the result of circumstances and a few of my own mistakes. The difference (between this year and last) is that we've been unlucky.

"At the Australian Grand Prix it was the weather, in Brazil we fell foul of the new regulations. Only in Malaysia were we clearly slower, but that was also the case last year."

Schumacher also denied the new rules were to blame. "Rules are the same for everybody. Thus it's not the fault of the rules if we have not yet won," he said.

Meanwhile, Ferrari will not be introducing the F2003-GA at this weekend’s San Marino Grand Prix as expected. It will instead debut at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 4.

"The F2003 simply had normal teething problems of a young car, the F2002 is still a good car and therefore it was decided not to take any unnecessary risks," said Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni.

Schumacher backed the decision to delay the new car. "It's not yet 100 per cent reliable. It'll be a big step forwards in terms of performance, but there's no point in taking the risk," he said.

The world champion said he had faith in the old car. "Naturally, drivers always want to have the fastest car at their disposal, but with the new points system, it is in some ways a second consideration. With our championship-winning car we have recorded the fastest lap in the first three races of the season, and we have seen once again that it is very fast. Who knows, maybe we can finish with a victory before putting it into retirement," said Schumacher.

Original article from Car